Our home is in Bellingham and we are “cottagers” rather than “permanent” at Loon Lake, but our family reached Yale in 1858, the cottage dates from 1965, and we are writing the first history book about the lake. Familiar with Loon Lake, we address its current “Save Our Dump” campaign from these perspectives.
The documents we’ve seen make the TNRD’s March notice of intent to cut back on waste management services appear arbitrary, based on no consultation of the kind its own mandates prescribe, and at odds with common sense measures of the public good. Efforts by the Loon Lake community association to learn more about the grounds for the service reduction, and for inclusion in the deliberative process before a final ruling, have drawn at best a grudging response.
Locals are now providing TNRD’s officials and staff data that compare Loon Lake favorably with regions not so threatened. We argue that what money might be “saved” will be more than offset by time and energy-wasting, polluting private vehicle use, loose trash build up, an increased risk of wildfires and other results of a curtailment. We are publicizing the dispute among neighbors.
There are many issue-specific reasons for Loon Lake to push back, given its rural “land rich, cash poor” history, familiar elsewhere, and this attack on its dump site will impact our “permanent” neighbors severely. TNRD tax collection from Loon Lake properties for its waste management exceeds the cost of operating its transfer station. But more broadly, we note the light weight rural areas pull in TNRD affairs and the heavy weight in voting rights and revenue transfer through levies that incorporated areas, some less populous than Loon Lake, enjoy. Loon Lake would get no rate decrease to offset reduced services but TNRD (in this economy?) raises directors’ pay $5,000: 25 directors x. $5,000 = $125,000, which would pay for a lot of waste management.
We hear criticism over the years about how Victoria neglects people beyond Hope. It strikes us that the same remark applies with…fill in your own locales. A mid-May decision could cut Loon Lake services, and could anticipate the dump site’s eventual closure. Other people in TNRD’s jurisdiction should consider both their own interests and a general sense of equity, and weigh in on this dispute.
Milt and Judy Krieger